On World Mental Health Day 2022, Lustre and Pressman opened up about this very serious condition exclusively with a group of friends from the media, where they discussed the inspiration behind their advocacy, why they invested in Mind You, and why the National Mental Health Summit, in partnership with the Department of Health, is significant for the country.
The Sunday Times Magazine: What instance in your life will you say really triggered you to be part of this advocacy?
Pressman: Mental health has always been important for both of us. But for me, when I learned how to manage my mental health, I always wanted to share that experience with others who were going through the same thing and didn’t know who to turn to or how to start taking care of their mental health. So when this opportunity came, and we could provide this service to other people, we took it on because everybody needed it, especially during the pandemic.
Lustre: For me, and I know a lot of people know this, but I started talking about my mental health after my brother passed away. It’s something that I can contribute to because I went through it as well, and I wanted to show everyone that it’s normal and it’s not something we should be ashamed of. I wanted to use my platform to make everyone know that.
As you started being more open about your mental health struggles, what feedback did you get from your fans?
Pressman: Maraming nag message asking for advice on how I coped when my dad passed away. I guess they saw how I was able to pick myself back up again after my dad passed away, and I would get a lot of messages asking for advice, like what can help them. I feel like someone just really needs someone to lean on. Nadine mentioned previously that when fans reach out to you, that probably means that wala din silang malapitan at makausap so it’s a big message on its own when they come to you for help when they don’t even know you.
Lustre: There were many people who started opening up to me via Direct Message or on Twitter, people who had the courage to share or show everyone what they’re going through. Opening up is so difficult for a lot of people and to open up takes so much courage. It’s a difficult first step to just admit and acknowledge what you’re going through, and when people share their stories. It’s really powerful.
Do you still experience mental health struggles after you have taken time to work on them?
Lustre: Yes, I do, but how I handle it is very different now because I picked up a lot of lessons and lots of ways to cope along the way. It’s very different compared to how I used to deal with it before. Now I am able to manage it, I have my days but after that, okay na ako, nakakatayo na ulit ako.
Pressman: We are all a work in progress and always have something to learn about ourselves. We’re always growing and evolving, and as we do so, madami tayong natutunan on how we manage ourselves, our feelings, and stress as well. But same with Nads, dati kasi wala akong enough education to know what I was going through so madaming pagkakaton na I would break down without understanding how to deal with the pressures, especially in this industry. Of course naapektuhan pa kami kasi tao lang din kami but now we know what to take to heart or what not to take personally.
How did your story with Mind You start?
Pressman: I was approached early last year to be part of Mind You. It was a random encounter at a salon where my friend approached me and shared the story of Mind You. When I saw it, I realized there are not a lot of places like this with accessible licensed psychologists and services. And Mind You started providing business-to-business first, so it was very inspiring to see companies providing these services to their employees. And, of course, now they’re opening it up to the public, this is something that I really wanted to do, and it was really something I was passionate about. I was going through a lot during that time, and I didn’t process 2020 fully. It was a very difficult time. Siguro, I’m the type to sweep under the rug and not dwell on my feelings, but after awhile, that builds up, so sometimes punong-puno ka na, and it’s nice to have a release. So connecting with Mind You’s senior psychologist, Rea Villa, really helped me, and I wanted that help to be available to everyone as well through Mind You.
Lustre: I was approached by Yassi, and then after a couple of weeks or a month, the same person who approached Yassi [co-founder Michael Needham] approached me, and I said why not di ba? It’s something that I’ve been open about to everyone, something I always talked about. Personally, based on my experience, it’s good to have someone helping you out. Throughout the lockdown, I had a life coach, and that really helped me. I went through a lot of different things, things that I just buried and haven’t processed. I thought that the lockdown was my opportunity to unearth everything and just deal with it because those are things I haven’t dealt with for so long. I thought everyone else should have access to this kind of help, which inspired me to join Mind You. Mental health is really important, and we don’t have a lot of support services for it, and everyone at Mind You believes everyone should have that opportunity.
How can different audiences benefit from this summit?
Pressman: It’s really an experience — you can listen to a lot of speakers and experience booths like the scream booth and also learn about theta healing, art therapy and so on. There’s something for everyone, and we hope that it resonates with everyone.
Lustre: Mental health is such a touchy subject, and so as much as possible, we want to make it fun, chill, and make sure that everyone has something to enjoy. I’m particularly excited about the masterclasses.
Lastly, what’s your advice for people who are going through mental health struggles?
Pressman: Always be kind to yourself. You can focus on art, your sport, and for me, personally, pets, family, and friends. Just make the decision to either deal with your problems now and or if you just decide, titiklop ko to, hihinga muna ako and whenever I’m ready to face it, I’ll deal with it in a better state of mind.
Lustre: Accept and acknowledge what you’re going through. I’m a firm believer that we’re going through this because we’re meant to, and we’re supposed to, and with all challenges, there’s a reason for it. Lahat ng pinagdaanan ko may natutunan ako and it made me a stronger person. Just be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up too hard, and just allow, accept, and learn the lesson.
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As mental health advocates and Mind You, Yassi Pressman and Nadine Lustre believe that sharing the tools they have learned will impact individuals in the Philippines.
In a country where access to these tools is still somewhat limited, it is crucial to provide resources not only to help break the stigma but help people overcome their own mental health struggles.
The National Mental Health Summit aims to do just that by providing attendees with various masterclasses, mental health booths, and exercises they can apply in their daily lives. Each individual participating in the summit, including hosts Iza Calzado, Rizza Diaz, and Rico Hizon, to name a few, generously donated their time to this cause.
To learn more about the 2022 National Mental Health Summit and register to attend live in person, visit findhope.mindyou.com.ph/ and follow Mind You’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, Tiktok, Kumu, and LinkedIn accounts for updates. — Carla Bianca Ravanes-Higham
Credit belongs to: www.manilatimes.net